Here I am, on the eve of my little girl’s 4th birthday and a rush of emotions has taken over me. She’s fast asleep and I’m scrambling to get her backpack in order for preschool tomorrow. Of course, I forget to wash her bedding so I’m up waiting on the washer so I can put them to dry. I also have to find some way to haul 15 birthday cupcakes to her class tomorrow.
I’m so excited for her– her special day! She doesn’t know what awaits. Singing at school, a special video call from grandma and grandpa and, after school, pedis!! She is going to freak. She has always been infatuated with my makeup and, as she calls them, my color nails. She’s never had her fingernails or toenails painted. I was so against it! Somehow I felt that if I exposed her to makeup and nail polish, she would want to grow up too fast. I just didn’t want that for her. I wanted her to care less about beauty products and care more about having fun and being a kid. Running around, learning new things, going outside and getting sweaty.
I’ve thought long and hard –when is the right time? And you know, I don’t have that answer. But I also know that the more you refuse, the more they push back. It can’t be no, no, no all the time. So instead I decided to use this time to treat her (just the toes, no fingernails). And with all the attention her little sister requires, this will be a nice time with just us two.
My little one is almost 8 months and, to my surprise, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Definitely not the case with my first babe. Kid #1 weighed in at almost 10 pounds and momma at nearly 200 on due day! I remember going to my last doctor’s appointment before delivery and cringing at the scale that read 1-9-6. Of course weight gain is expected during pregnancy, but 60 pounds? I struggled losing the baby weight for nearly 2 years. I kind of just accepted this new mom bod. I eventually slimmed down, but still carried around “the pooch” and just figured it was something I had to live with.
My second is a different story. The weight seemed to melt off. Not because I was eating super great, maybe OK, but not great. I still indulged in my fair share of ice cream and chocolate. I chalked it up to my breastfeeding – burn 500 calories a day, right? So what could be to blame (or praise) for this weight loss? That’s when it hit me! I’m damn near starving myself! Having two kids along with work, keeping a tidy home, laundry, making time for friends, making time to work out, cooking dinner, making time for the hubby, taking kid #1 to school, taking care of kid #2’s every need, it can be exhausting! When do I make time to eat?
I fell into the mom-zone. Taking care of everything and everybody else regardless of my well being. But that’s our job, right? Making sure everyone else is happy. But what about our happiness? Yes, my family means the world to me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to be alone sometimes. Sometimes we just want to be able to do what we like. Go shopping without having a toddler to look after. Go to the gym without having to be called down to change your babies diaper. Book a spa day and not feel guilty for leaving your family at home.
So this year will be different. This year I will make an effort to practice self-love. I’m a firm believer that if momma is happy then your family will be happy. If momma is happy, she is present in the moments that most affect her family. She is attentive to her family’s needs. She is available to be there for her kids and her significant other. Being happy is about fulfilling your needs along with your family’s, not suppressing them. So do something that makes you happy today.